In recent times I have been surrounded by death. Death’s of family friends, friends of friend, and connections through my work. Each of these moments has offered me an opportunity to pause and reflect upon life. For many these are opportunities to make choices to change, appreciate our existence more deeply, perhaps commit to a new way of being in the world (eating, exercise, relationships, use of time/energy).
We all process these times differently depending on our beliefs and levels of fear of death. I know some people that will not even discuss their death because of the discomfort it creates, while others seem to take it all in their stride.
Death is a part of the flow of life. We travel along in the flow of this physical existence until the point when we don’t. When we fear death it can feel like we are holding onto the edge of the river attempting not to let go, resisting what will eventually come to all of us.
To my thinking this seems like a waste of energy. Holding on, resisting something inevitable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not strapping on an outboard motor and speeding to my death. I’m actively making choices to support a long and healthy life.
I am however suggesting you drop the resistance and live the life that you want to live right now as you flow along. All of my family and friends know of my plans for my death. They know who is going to sing, who will ensure the ritual of dancing is done, who will orchestrate the painting on the sitting rock that looks out over the ocean. My niece recently offered to make bath bombs out of my ashes so I don’t get stuck up anyone’s nose as I’m launched off the cliff into the water. What fun it will be, sad for some I’m sure, but the clarity that this feels like it will create, brings deep peace to me. I no longer need to worry or resist. I can let go and enjoy my life.
Often there is regret when people die. Words were not said, forgiveness was not given or anger held onto as a position of power. I always make sure that when I leave my family and close friends that they know they are deeply loved by me. I also work to heal or balance relationships that need my focus so that I am at peace with my interactions and intentions. It may seem morbid, but I like the idea that if for any reason, perhaps an accident, that what remains is a knowing of being love.
Different religions have different concepts around death and the after life. I suggest you choose one that works for you, rather than perhaps taking the one handed down to you. I really like the idea of reincarnation, that we come back again and that there is a continuous unfolding and moving towards a deeper level of connection to our core essence. This again allows me to let go of the edges of my flowing river of life, because it feels so good. You choose, you research what works for you, perhaps there is nothing after death, perhaps there is heaven and hell. This is an important step to becoming peaceful with the process.
Avoidance is a common strategy when it comes to death, and rightly so, I do plan to avoid it for as long as possible. But I don’t do it with a sense of fear or resistance, more like a knowing and sense of acceptance. Prepare for your death and live you life in the flow, however you can. I don’t know what is really in store for me, but I have a sense that it is mystical and not really the end, and that feels exciting.
When we do face the death of our loved ones, it seems like the only thing to do is be authentic to our feelings. Allow the tears to flow if that is your authentic response. Release your anger without impacting others, if that’s authentic to you. Surrender to your feelings and trust that those around you will manage in there own way, and may even be inspired by you and join you in their own authentic way. Suppressing or resisting your emotions takes you out of the flow of your own life, like clinging to the edges of that river again. Release your emotions, let them flow until their own authentic completion. You’ll know what feels right for you.
Love and Wisdom